Are Restroom Report Cards the Way to a More Hygienic Public Restroom? Survey Respondents Say Yes to Ratings, Touch-Free Systems and Guaranteed Supplies

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Whats the best way to improve overall hygiene in public restrooms?  A five-star restroom rating system like those used for hotels, according to more than half the respondents in a national survey released today.


Some other options such as fines for not flushing, conducting cleanest restroom contests and free maps to the best public restrooms were not nearly as popular with the 1,024 people surveyed by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional.


Other top choices for bettering the public restroom experience were:


--Touch-free washroom products, faucets and flushers to improve hygiene, which were selected by half of all respondents. (Even more people 58 percent chose touch-free dispensing in a question about how to make a public restroom visit as hassle-free as possible.)

--A guaranteed supply of toilet paper, towels and soap that is provided automatically so you dont have to touch the dispenser to get what you need.


The Good, The Bad and the Bathroom


Not surprisingly, toilet paper was selected over other restroom supplies as having the biggest impact on a positive or negative restroom experience.  A clean appearance with good lighting, freshly painted walls and graffiti-free stalls was the overwhelming choice for making a public restroom visit more pleasant.


While 21 percent of respondents said public restrooms were generally clean and in good condition, twice as many described a visit to a public restroom as:  A 50-50 gamble.  Some are OK, others are a disaster.  


Despite this, the restroom was not regarded as the primary source of germs that can lead to workplace absenteeism. That distinction went to shaking hands with people who dont wash their hands when theyre sick.  It was followed by doorknobs and the air, with restroom surfaces languishing in last place.


 Great Innovations


Of all the restroom achievements throughout the ages, the toilet was chosen as the greatest invention of all time. Running water and toilet paper followed.  For the toilet paper of the future, the overwhelming choice was simple:  lots and lots of nice soft toilet paper.  It trumped other suggestions, such as moistened toilet paper with cleansers, and toilet paper with jokes and stories to read while you wait.


Finally, if trapped on a deserted island, or reality TV show in a similar locale, the number one supply people would want with them was toilet paper.  A toothbrush and toothpaste were second, with soap coming in third. Compared to the bare necessities, good books and an MP3 player didnt stand a chance.


Source: Kimberly-Clark Professional